And what do you do?

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

When you hear the question “And, what do you do?” what do you say?

Does your answer start with you job title? I hope not! Because if so, you’re not really doing yourself any favours if you want to be remembered later on.

With all the information we process every day, we need things to be simple. So, when you meet someone new, your brain needs to file them somewhere and give them a label for easy retrieval. That is unless they’ve made it easy for you and given you one. Like, for example their job title. Then it’s easy. You file them in your mind along with all the other people who share that job title. Maybe sometime later, someone asks you if you know of a [insert popular job title here] and you check your mind’s filing system, only to find that there are quite a few of them in there. Who do you select? Tricky. That person has just inadvertently ruined their chances of being the one to pick and has just potentially missed out on a referral or a recommendation.

Is this what you’re doing?

Here’s another idea. How about you develop a way of introducing yourself and describing what you do that not only tells people what they want to hear, but also increases your chances of being remembered?

If you can answer the question “And, what do you do?” in a way that arouses curiosity and interest, then you’re more likely to find yourself at the beginning of a conversation. As opposed to being responsible for one that never quite makes it off the starting grid. Conversations are the beginning of relationships and meaningful connections so it’s in your interest to get a conversation going.

You could try giving yourself a title that’s unusual or unexpected. These often force the listener to work out what they mean which itself can be the conversation starter. Or, you could hint at the narrative and story that reveals more about what you’re about. After all, when people ask you what you do, you don’t have to give the work answer. You are more than your work and you can tell them something from your extensive, interesting life experiences. And don’t forget, sometimes you might be asked by someone who’s nervous and doesn’t really know what to say, so they’ll be happy with anything you say.

By provoking some curiosity in the your conversation partner, you’re more likely to be engaging the emotions and slow down the process that might put you in a box along with loads of others. And then, by the time you finally give in and offer up a label that potentially sticks you in a box, you’ve ensured that the other person knows who you are sufficiently so that you get a box all to yourself.

Follow me on Twitter: @AlexiaL or visit my site: www.blossomingbrands.com

Watch the video below featuring Alexia Leachman of Blooming Brands discussing my building a strong personal brand is important.


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